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Forgotten Hockey Heroes: Reviving the Dit Clapper Story

By November 29, 2012

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Dit Clapper and team mates with the Stanley Cup in April, 1941.

Trivia time: On ten occasions the Hockey Hall of Fame has waived its mandatory three-year waiting period for retired players entering the Hall. Who are the ten?

Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, Terry Sawchuk, Red Kelly, Ted Lindsay, Maurice Richard, and Aubrey "Dit" Clapper.

If you sort that list by popularity and name recognition, Dit Clapper will surely rank last.

One of the icons of the league's early years, he's nearly forgotten today.

From 1927 to 1947, Clapper was a franchise player for the Boston Bruins, serving as an all-star defenseman, all-star forward, and team captain.

He was a huge presence in the first three Stanley Cups won by the franchise.

His story is told in a new book called Dit: Dit Clapper and the Rise of the Boston Bruins (buy it here).

It's an exhaustively researched bio by Stewart Richardson and Richard LeBlanc.

I spoke to them about their research and their efforts to revive the Dit Clapper story.


Photo: Johnny Crawford, Dit Clapper, and Bill Cowley (L-R) celebrate the Bruins' Stanley Cup win in 1941 (courtesy of Boston Sports Museum).


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